Democratic Principles: As Laid Out by Thomas Jefferson

Where is Mr. Jefferson when we need him? If only these principles held true today:


Jefferson lays down the following principles:

The people, the only source of legitimate power.

The absolute and lasting severance of church and state.

The freedom, sovereignty and independence of the respective States.

The Union, a confederacy, a compact neither a consolidation nor a centralization.

The constitution of the Union, a special written grant of powers, limited and definite.

The civil paramount to the military power.

The representative to obey the instructions of his constituents.

Elections free, and suffrage universal.

No hereditary office, nor order, nor title.

No taxation beyond the public wants.

No national debt, if possible.

No costly splendor of administration.

No proscription of opinion, nor of public discussion.

No unnecessary interference with individual conduct, property, or speech.

No favored classes, and no monopolies.

No public moneys expended except by warrant of specific appropriation.

No mysteries in government inaccessible to the public eye.

Public compensation for public services, moderate salaries, and pervading economy and accountability.

The Experiment (Norwalk, Ohio) Oct 11, 1843

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